The New-Old Apollo Albums
An independent archivist named Kipp Teague has assembled and uploaded more than 11,000 high-resolution versions of unprocessed photos from NASA’s Apollo moon missions during the 1960s and ’70s on Flickr. The high-resolution photographs capture up-close scenes on the moon, stunning look-backs at Earth, and candid moments shared between astronauts in the capsules, including a few selfies from space.
A Slice Of A Digital Brain
This digital reconstruction maps a small slice of a rat’s brain. Researchers from the Blue Brain Project have digitized 31,000 neurons and the nearly 40 million connections between them to construct a virtual brain slice. This project and others like it are trying to figure out the basic wiring of the brain in order to better understand how we think, how our thoughts form, and how our memories are stored.
The Sticky Feet of Stick Insects
If you look at an insect’s foot under a microscope you’ll find fluid on it, as you can see in this image of an ant’s foot leaving a fluid trail. Scientists have long assumed that having fluid on their feet helps insects attach to surfaces through capillary and viscous forces. But new research on stick insects from Cambridge suggests the opposite may be true: The fluid may actually help stick insects easily detach their feet from surfaces when they want to move. Their research could help engineers design better adhesion for processes like accurately moving and installing small electronic devices.
Bring On The Heat, Mars
This week NASA released this image of a heat shield that could one day help a Mars-bound spacecraft survive the high temperatures involved in penetrating the planet’s atmosphere. To save space, the shield can be stowed until it is needed, at which point it deploys by popping open like an umbrella. NASA engineers have tested the shield at temperatures as high as 3,100 degrees Fahrenheit.
One Shot to Replace All Spaying and Neutering
Biologists at the California Institute of Technology recently discovered that they can inject mice with a virus that inhibits fertility. The virus, which works by directing the body to generate antibodies that target reproduction, rendered the majority of the rats in the Caltech study infertile for the rest of their lives. Here, an antibody bound to an egg prevents the attachment of sperm to the egg. The scientists hope the virus can be one day developed into a single shot to replace spaying and neutering for animals.
A drone captured this traffic snarl in Beijing, China. The road was clogged with thousands of cars for over 6 miles as a result of the Golden Week national holiday.
In Case You Need More Mars
The dunes on Mars can give us clues about wind and weather patterns on the Red Planet, but this photo shows even more than that. The fractures and cracks along the ground could be bedrock that shattered during extreme cold or intense pressure, or when sediment that was once wet, began to dry and in the process, shrunk and then cracked.
Siphonophore Colonies A Clue to Deep Sea Travel
Siphonophores like this one can be up to 160 feet long. They live in the deep sea and are actually a colony of organisms rather than one single creature. Scientists recently discovered that each individual has a job that propels the colony: Younger and smaller members stay up front and turn the colony, while older members stay in the back and move large amounts of water to thrust the siphonophore forward. Understanding this mechanism could help people design better deep sea exploration vehicles.
Give Us Your Best Poop Impression
Researchers from South Africa have found that a plant called Ceratocaryum argenteum has evolved to release seeds (left) that look and smell like antelope feces (right). The seeds release these aromatic gases to attract dung beetles, who then spread and bury the seeds as they would with actual feces, Nature Plants reports.
When corals undergo stress like high temperatures, they expel their symbiotic algae, losing a main food source and making them vulnerable to disease. This process, called coral bleaching because it makes the coral pale, is seen here. NOAA has just declared the third ever global bleaching event, which is expected to affect 95 percent of U.S. coral reefs.